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In the New Year The Independent Voice will be amplifying its web pages with daily reporting and editorializing on city, state and now national issues.  We will also be focusing on increased advertising on these web pages for the benefit of those who want to reach the serious minded audience that our publications have always drawn.  With the continuing loss of local publications like the City Paper, the recent information concerning the very likely combining of the Inquirer and Daily News, and the fact that neither of those newspapers or their web pages will do investigative journalism or write hardball editorials, we feel that The Independent Voice should expand from its Northwest Philadelphia trade area and use multiple tactics to become the critical voice for all of corrupt Philadelphia.

Anyone who followed the lackluster and manipulative process that unfolded from the start of the mayoral primaries last year, through the various shams, scams, duplicitous teaser tactics, and then the non-election with no genuine candidate debates,  and miniscule turnout, must see that this city is run by the political class, for the political class, and that the press and media are their lapdogs.

Some folks say our past investigative work and positions taken are too harsh and we should “lighten up”.   Our work began in 2009 and in some cases we were the first to print stories of corruption by elected officials and we took leaders in our trade area like Chaka Fattah and Dwight Evans to task only to find that both of them were part of activities that caused one to lose his power position in Harrisburg and the other to be standing federal trial as this is written.

I think what has taken place in the last year alone, city judges sent to jail and their court completely closed down, multiple city-based state reps and senators taking bribes and driven from office, judges removed from the bench, ethics board violations and fines now a regular occurrence, the U.S. Congressman and his son on trial in federal court make the case that instead of our obligation to the citizens being one to “lighten up” it’s one to shine the light more intensely on the entire city and not just Northwest Philadelphia.  Look for expanded coverage and other changes as the year progresses.

Jim Foster


The Independent Voice

Other Stories

Hillary Clinton,  21st Century Madame Chaing Kai-shek

As I watched Hillary Clinton treat us to another condescending rebuke to the great unlearned, it brought back some black and white film clips and recorded history that is part personal recollection and part research of a powerful persona most unusual in her time. A woman who, despite some learned attempt at promoting fairness in world governance, crashed and burned in her own right and probably because she made some of the same mistakes we have witnessed since Hillary Clinton decided she was to be the self-appointed ruler of all she imagined and using all she was able to dominate to get there.



Read About It ...


If we are ever to have again honest government in Philadelphia, those who claim they want it will have to realize what is contained here is valid and they will have to distance themselves from the current system and dismember it.

Jim Foster

To their credit a few local journalists did some hand-wringing after the so-called mayoral election regarding the complete absence of the democratic process in how political control is organized in Philadelphia through a few power players that are obvious and a few more, not so obvious.

Read more ...

“Casting the first stone”

 Now that it has been disclosed that Attorney General Kathleen Kane herself was recipient of some of the same email porn she attributed to others, I thought I would resend my prior posting.  Let’s hear from that local group of outraged feminists and office holders who wanted legal cases overturned because of the actions of “misogynist male prosecutors” and furthermore wanted the DA removed from office on the same “evidence.”

Read more ...


Please take a moment to read the attached Wall Street Journal editorial from 1992 in light of 911 and what has happened since.  Then consider the following decisions and events since 1986 when we first decided to virtually end border control on a broad scale basis at all points of entry.  This has nothing to do with the Southern border and the Latin American countries.

Read more ...

No Surprise Here

What a surprise! - - after the so called Election, we find that the Committee of Seventy Board supplied a good number of Jim Kenney’s new appointments.

Read more ...

Wayne Junction Transit Complex Reopens After Four-Year Rebuild

Read more ...

“Working Educators” Caucus to Challenge Jerry Jordan for Control of the Philadelphia Teachers’ Union

Read more ...

Deja Vu, 1950

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With Freedom Comes Responsibility

Read more ...

A Tale of Two Monopolies


Philadelphia schools misspent grants
This is only one example of how politicians misused their appropriations ability over the years.
• • •
Bernie Sanders the Stalking Horse
Mum on Clinton, Sanford Weill and Glass Steagall
• • •
• • •
Don’t Take Neglect for an Answer
Beginning with this posting, The Independent Voice initiates its new project under the heading “Don’t take Neglect for an answer."
See photo and info at the end of this post.
We underscore the fact that the City of Philadelphia has a very selective approach to responding to citizen need and the so called 311 Priority system is just another level of bureaucracy designed to pacify rather than prioritize remedies in our neighborhoods.
We are asking folks in any city neighborhood to send us anonymous photos via email or any other method of problem sites in their communities, identifying them only by street address, intersection or generic location. These can include sites of long or short term neglect by L & I, ongoing violations in businesses or residences, hazardous locations brought about by any type of neglect or poor security, and even those situations where there is good reason to suspect that non-licensed or unpermitted use is ongoing.
We believe by publishing these photos and locations, naming the Council District and their office phone number with them, is the fastest route to remedial work and/or sorting out responsibility and corrective action. Past experience with these type of situations has shown that this city has a cavalier attitude toward folks in many neighborhoods, but a whole different approach in others.
Yes, there are two Philadelphias and one of them is the part that national studies tell us contains the largest amount of deep poverty in the nation. Let’s start by forcing the largest City Council and most expensive city government in the nation to respond to citizens needs where they are most visible.
Jim Foster
The Independent Voice

Photo location is Wakefield and Garfield streets in Germantown
Unfinished property open and dangerous
Overgrown over adjacent sidewalks
Located in 8th Councilmanic District

Sanders Lacks Conviction Read the story ...
Inquirer Editorial Pages on April 26 Raises Questions and Answers Them Read the story...
Bernie the Stalking Horse Read the Story ...
The Media Is Not a Political Party Read the story...
The Philadelphia Political Machine Stole the Culture and Quality of Life Read the story...
How Quality of Life Became Impossible in Germantown Read the story...

Read more ...

Read more ...

Read more... Johnny Doc, The Mayonnaise Mafia and Insider Politics du Jour

Resurrection in Ohio

Bernie Sanders’ Orwellian Move

Philadelphia Film Society presents ...

Vivien Thomas: An Unknown African American Hero

Two Kitchen Conversations & a Community Exhibition

Get Ready for Hands-On Excitement on Cyber Play Day City Wide for Black Family Technology Awareness Week

PAFA Hosts The Review Panel Philadelphia on Feb. 17   

Read more ...

Shades of Henry Wallace
Read more ...

Update on the School Reform Commission action on the Wister District School: 
Kicked Back to Mastery

I am sharing some updates about what is happening at Wister after the tumultuous SRC meeting last week where commissioner Simms reversed Dr. Hite’s decision to keep Wister a district run school and turn it back over to Mastery. There is a lot of push back including this WURD radio interview on the Solomon Jones morning show. 

Here is the link to Robin Lowry’s interview: 

Here is the link to Terrance Martin's interview: 

Here’s the text of a letter to staff and parents at Wister about an upcoming district run meeting. At the last one of these meetings a group of Mastery Wister Turnaround supporters completely derailed the meeting so I am letting folks know about this one.

I am writing to update you about recommended changes at John Wister Elementary School for the 2015-16 school year. The School Reform Commission voted Thursday, January 21 to allow Mastery Charter Schools to submit a charter application for Wister Elementary through the Renaissance Charter Schools initiative. The SRC will review the full proposal from Mastery before determining whether to convert Wister to a Renaissance Charter School next year.

A final decision about whether Wister will remain under School District management has not been made at this point. The SRC will vote on Mastery’s charter application in the spring.

We will continue to work with Wister families and staff during this process. There will be a meeting to address questions and discuss the next steps in this process on Tuesday, February 2 at 3:30  p.m. in the Wister School Library.

Karel Kilimnik

visit my blog:  community calendar and more

The Independent Voice
Becomes Philly's Voices
For all practical purposes the state of both print and all other media in Philadelphia has deteriorated to the point that it only serves the purposes of the corrupt and confiscatory political classes and the powerful who run them while they pick your pockets and deny quality of life to more than 25% of the city’s residents.

Philadelphia has been designated by continuing reliable scholarship to have the highest percentage of both poverty and deep poverty of any large city in the nation. It also has the largest and most expensive City Council and city government in the nation, one which was structured when the city had 2.2 million but has since lost 30% of that number. The local press and media refuse to cover these issues but rather serve as sycophants to the one party political machine.

We recently lost another publication in the demise of the City Paper and most local and community papers are a shadow of their former selves, if they even exist. The Inquirer and Daily News have been fighting for survival for several years and their recent incarnation from one of many trips to the bankruptcy court resulted in an internal management food fight over how much influence a major political operative and owner would have over editorial policy – in other words how much he could white4wash and manicure the information that was printed and how much could be deleted at the source.

The survivor of that costly battle just gave away the papers to a nonprofit entity as its struggle to survive was in effect lost with a downsized staff and a board that was in effect owned by the politicians and the powerful and ran the papers primarily for their interests. The days of independent investigative and responsible journalism inside a private but dedicated news corporation in Philadelphia are over.

Since 2009 Germantown Newspapers has been challenging that fractured news culture from Northwest Philadelphia through its publications The Germantown Chronicle, Northwest Independent and ultimately the consolidated masthead The Independent Voice. We did our best to print independently generated investigative articles and challenges to the standing corruption in the city and take on those who make it possible. A parallel call-in radio program of the same name (The Independent Voice) was aired for almost a year in 2014 until the powerful political class saw to its demise when too much truth was being told to too many over the airwaves.

Effective almost immediately The Independent Voice web edition will morph into PHILLY VOICES interactive blog where your voice, information and opinion can be part of the larger daily communication network. We intend to take to task the elected and appointed who run the most expensive and least performing government in a major city in this country. In addition, we will expand into state and national issues as we watch Pennsylvania self-destruct on a daily basis and the state of national politics take turns in this election cycle not seen since the 1860s.

We will publish short but intense commentary on city, state and national issues daily and invite your submissions so that “PHILLY VOICES” can replace the silence that has resulted from the general demise and burial of journalism and responsible reporting in Philadelphia.

Jim Foster
Editor, Philly's Voices

Jim Foster on Germantown Radio

Germantown Radio interviewed Jim Foster to explore where Philly's Voices will take us.

Hear it at



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Listen at 7 pm every other Sunday (next show April 3) to WURD 900 on the AM dial or over your computer for the one hour call-in program that deals with issues you won’t find covered in the mainstream press or area radio/TV media.

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The Latest Posts

A Referendum on Reason
It has been a very long time since the phrase “the people have spoken” had significance that could alter the direction of the known world, but it happened yesterday in Britain.  Read the story ...

The Democrats Last National Political Machine? Read the story...

Soda Tax Scam Forces Open Door to City Fiscal Malaise. Council hearings should expose fiscal fraud. Read the story...

It's About Power, Not Soda. Read the story

Faith, Family, and Friends. Read the story...

Chaka Fattah: The Rest of the Story. Part III. Read the story

If you read the first two installments in my review of how Chaka Fattah was the long term source of funding often run through false front nonprofits, you will recall my outline of one of the largest of the scams he funded was a taken over Quaker organization known as Germantown Settlement. After Settlement was caught defrauding the private funders who kept sending money after the Quakers lost control, federal and state dollars replaced the lost stream (in much greater amounts) and the majority of funds were federal.

    Chaka Fattah: Read the Stories Part 1   Part 2   Part 3

Mayor’s Machine scams citizens as Council caves in. Read The Story...

Malcolm X on Neighborhood Politics Read the Story ...

A Tale of Two Takeovers Read the story ...

THE INDEPENDENT VOICE is on WURD 900 AM every other

Sunday night at 7 pm with a one-hour long call-in show.

Next show is July 10.

Incorporating The Independent Voice

6661 Germantown Ave • Philadelphia, PA 19119 • 215-438-5171 •

Fattah convicted of federal corruption charges

Co-defendants Robert Brand and Karen Nicholas also convicted

Herbert Vederman, one of Fattah's most prolific fund-raisers and a Rendell-era deputy mayor, was charged in the case and convicted of racketeering conspiracy, bribery, bank fraud, money laundering and other crimes. Brand was convicted on all counts. Nicholas was convicted of some charges, acquitted of others, reported.


Read Jim Foster's commentaries on Chaka Fattah: The Rest of the Story

If you read the first two installments in my review of how Chaka Fattah was the long term source of funding often run through false front nonprofits, you will recall my outline of one of the largest of the scams he funded was a taken over Quaker organization known as Germantown Settlement. After Settlement was caught defrauding the private funders who kept sending money after the Quakers lost control, federal and state dollars replaced the lost stream (in much greater amounts) and the majority of funds were federal.

    Chaka Fattah: Read the Stories

Chaka Fattah: Read the Stories………

How Power Politics, Public Money and Poverty Profiteers Are Destroying Cities

With the clear and convincing conviction of Chaka Fattah on all counts for using his power as Appropriations Chair and front nonprofits for channeling pubic money to other than named recipients, it is appropriate that this practice, long a regular practice of Philadelphia elected leadership, be made public for just how extensive and expensive it has been as it essentially sends taxpayer money to friends and insiders using front corporations.  To add insult to irony, Dwight Evans, who has been nominated to replace Fattah in congress, has been operating with the same tactics inside his own personal fiefdom for years.  Please read below. It is from the Sept. 24, 2015, issue of The Independent Voice.   Read the story ...

Foster Sues Media for Excluding Him From Mayoral Debates - Citified

Former Independent Philadelphia mayoral candidate Jim Foster filed a lawsuit against several media outlets as well as the Committee of 70 alleging they failed to include him (and other minor party hopefuls) in debates last year. Read the story ...

Jim Foster Addresses the Issues Leading to His Lawsuit

“It should be known that objections were filed and opinion articles written when it was first announced that all the primary sponsors of the mayoral debates had ruled out including candidate Foster and another independent and long standing third party candidate from the Socialist Party. 

This after one debate was held at a center city hotel that was very well attended and was filmed and shown later by PCN Cable Network. My contention is that once the power brokers and party leadership in this city knew the focus of my platform from the first debate and it having been published, the last thing they wanted was to have discussion started on the city obligations and finances that I have covered for years.


Objections were part of parcel of comments I made personally to all sponsors, appeared in the Inquirer, other news sources, and one was filed by a suburban Republican with WHYY which led to my addressing their Board recently. This matter and others like it are the subject of litigation nationwide and some recent court decisions that are clearly remedial and in the public’s interest.”


Jim Foster

Germantown Newspapers Publisher, Editor Jim Foster Dies

It is with great sadness that we let the community know that Jim Foster passed away on Sunday, July, 17, at Jefferson Hospital after a brief illness.

A memorial service will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday, July 22, at Urban Funeral Home, 1111 S. Bethlehem Pike, Ambler. A private burial will follow.

James H. Foster passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Sunday, July 17, at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. He was 75.

Born in 1942 in Philadelphia, he was a life-long Philadelphia area resident, the majority of that in Germantown and Mt. Airy. He was predeceased by his wife of 30 years, Cora Christina Warfield, in 2012.

Educated in Philadelphia parochial schools, he graduated from La Salle College in 1967 with a BA in Pre-Law, having taken a two-year year break during which he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was fond of noting he worked his way through college as an auto mechanic. That vocation later evolved into his business of old and antique car restoration. Local residents would often see him driving his old Cadillacs and Buicks around town.

Upon graduation, he went to work for First Pennsylvania Banking and Trust and passed through their executive training program. Foster served the company in its branch offices, was a lending officer in the Minority Lending Program, and ended up in the commercial finance/high risk lending division.

He opened his own business in auto repair, restoration and sales in 1972, which he operated full time through 2011.

Foster's community activity in Germantown and Northwest Philadelphia began in 1995 with relocation of his auto shop to the area. It was then he began writing and submitting to local papers and the Philadelphia Inquirer. At the same time, he served on a number of organization and community boards, including the Chestnut Hill Community Association.

In April, 2009, Foster founded The Independent Voice newspaper as the Germantown Chronicle and Northwest Independent. This came about when when a local weekly newspaper closed. He felt strongly that Germantown and Mt. Airy needed a newspaper with an open editorial page that also focused on city and state issues, particularly corruption and neglect in government. The project included a web page, Facebook site and blog, all of which were used to amplify his positions on the doings of local, state and federal governance.

He also maintained a radio call-in show on WURD 900 AM radio after he changed name of newspaper to The Independent Voice. He used the same name for call in radio discussion on Sunday nights from 7 to 8 pm. The program ran from December 2013 to October 2014, and resumed in March, 2015.

In addition to antique cars, Foster had a passion for railroads, both in the real world and the model versions. He owned many O-gauge cars, locomotives and accessories and was active in several hobby and fan groups. He also built or restored scale model railroad cars with an uncanny eye for detail and accuracy.

A lifelong registered Independent, Foster ran for Philadelphia City Council against Donna Reed Miller and in 2012 he challenged Chaka Fattah for the U.S. House in the Second District of Pennsylvania. Most recently he ran for Mayor of Philadelphia in 2015.

In a recent story published by the Chestnut Hill Local, writer Len Lear observed that Foster had "been writing in excruciatingly exhaustive detail in area newspapers about the alleged corruption of elected officials in the Northwest, particular State Rep. Dwight Evans and Congressman Chaka Fattah. (His political commentaries began in 1999 in the Mt. Airy Times Express.) 'A lot of folks in the Northwest said I was ‘nuts’ and ‘made this stuff up’ because I would not accept the party line that all elected Democrats walked on water,' Foster said."

His campaign for the House seat was based on his anger with the political machinations of the sitting representative.

“The very financial manipulations he (Fattah) is now being tried for were a long-existent practice of his office in funding nonprofits and front entities,” Foster wrote this spring. “I contend these efforts consumed hundreds of millions in public dollars during his 11-term, 22-year career, with significant portions of it being authorized to entities that did not qualify or comply with standing federal regulations, or were designed at the outset to move money under false flags.”

In the end, Foster lost the election. But he also saw Fattah convicted on 30-plus counts and being forced to resign from Congress.

Lear concluded: "This is just a miniscule portion of the investigative reporting and commentary that the unfairly-maligned Foster has done over the years about the corruption of the one-party Democratic machine that has ruled Philadelphia since a true reformer, Chestnut Hill’s Richardson Dilworth, left the mayor’s office in 1962. All Philadelphia citizens who believe in honest government owe a debt of gratitude to Jim Foster."